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The Fred Factor: How passion in your work and life can turn the ordinary into the extraordinary

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3.89 of 5 stars 3.89  ·  rating details  ·  2,448 ratings  ·  289 reviews
Meet Fred.

In his powerful new book THE FRED FACTOR, motivational speaker Mark Sanborn recounts the true story of Fred, the mail carrier who passionately loves his job and who genuinely cares about the people he serves. Because of that, he is constantly going the extra mile handling the mail – and sometimes watching over the houses – of the people on his route, treating eve
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Hardcover, 128 pages
Published April 20th 2004 by Crown Business (first published 2002)
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Community Reviews

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Kara Ripley
Okay, here is my deal. I really like the idea of being inspired to do the best work possible. But the "Fred" Factor has turned into "I'm doing someone else's job" Factor. Sanborn tells stories about people who go above and beyond. Well, that's fine and good but, people take advantage of this. Let me explain. At one point, Sanborn was staying in a hotel and he spilled coffee on his only pair of pants (that he had to wear home the following day). He asked the hotel if they could wash them, if ther ...more
Loy Machedo
Let me get something off my chest.

Mark Sanborn is a nice guy and I like him. So, irrespective whatever I do state about the book, I doubt my loyalty towards Mark would change.

So now, let us begin the evaluation of ‘Fred Factor’.

Fred Factor is apparently a true story of a knock-your-sock-off-service postman who left such an indelible mark (on Mark), that it became a book and a message to the masses.

The gist of the whole book is simply this – Go the super extra mile not for self-benefit but for pu
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J
This is a very short book whose premise is simple; be considerate and be willing to offer a helping hand without expecting anything more than feeling good about the fact that you want to be helpful.

Rather than telling you what this book is, I can tell you what it is not: this book isn't an epic tale; it isn't Faulkner or Hemingway; it isn't the recipe for curing all the world's ills; it certainly isn't a prescription on how to become a hero.

It is simply a collection of stories about admirable
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Rebecca Johnson
This book was recommended to me by someone I truly respect in the business world. The context was, "you are a FRED, you should read The Fred Factor." So, I grabbed a copy from my library and that same way that energy creates energy, I was super excited about the content of this book. It is not one of the fiction-story-cheesy books. Some really good tips and my favorite is the ending, but, WE WILL GET TO THAT! But first, quotes! The book has great quotes from other sources. *"All men matter. You ...more
Laura
In The Fred Factor, Sanborn tells the true story about an ordinary man in an ordinary job providing an exceptional model of leadership by keeping service of others his priority. Sanborn uses Fred the mail carrier as an inspiring example of how all of us, regardless of our environment, can find opportunities to make a difference in the lives of those we serve by going the extra mile. In this text, Sanborn not only describes what a “Fred” is, but also illustrates to his readers how they too can be ...more
Susan B
Sanborn's encounter with the original Fred - an unusual postman who went out of his way to deliver exceptional service to the customers on his route - provides the basis for this book, which describes (as the subtitle indicates) "how passion in your work and life can turn the ordinary into the extraordinary." And let's face it - who doesn't want to be considered a phenomenal human being?

After outlining the four "Fred principles" and providing other examples of real-life "Freds," Sanborn gives a
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Amy
Short and inspiring, the Fred Factor is a contrast to most succeed-in-business advice. Maybe that's because the goal isn't recognition or riches, but the deeper satisfaction of doing things right. The central idea of this book is that "what makes any act extraordinary is doing it with heart. What makes any life extraordinary is living it with love."

The book's title refers to Sanborn's mail carrier, Fred, who clearly exemplifies doing a job well and having "the commitment to treat a person with
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James Cowan
This book is like a stick of dynomite. It's small and packed full of power. It can be read very quickly which is good for a busy person with little time to read. I stopped reading several times to ponder how I might apply certain ideas to my every day life and just to make sure I did not gloss over anything important.

The concept of customer service, as described in this book, should be handled with care as it could explode on you. I write this because there is no mention of return on investment
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Nickie
I just read this last week again. This time to my husband and children. We all seemed to benefit. My kids have tried to be little Freds. Our bread business can benefit from this experience too.


This is a little 115 page treasure. I see how this is going to be beneficial with Love and Logic, The 7 Habits, and living the Golden Rule.

I thought this was going to be about Fred Rogers the PBS guy. Not so. The base is of Fred the Postman of Denver and how he lives his daily life with actions that uplift
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Graeme
In this extremely light read, Mark Sanborn tells a short, inspiring story which begins with his postman, Fred, creepily asking a number of personal questions, which turn out to be so that he can provide better service that extends far outside of the bounds of his job. Over the years, Fred goes far above the call of duty to help out Sanborn and his other customers. Sanborn then goes on to write about other similar incidents, and reduces the whole effect to what is essentially a character profile ...more
Jill
I had heard of this book from my boss. It's super easy reading and it's the greatest concept. We all may not have the most glamorous jobs, but it doesn't mean we can't find some joy in our jobs. And we can do that by finding extraordinary ways to accomplish our jobs that maybe others have thought have, but not dared to try.
Beez Beasley
The ordinary can become extraordinary. No matter your station in life, you can bring energy and creativity to your life and work...making a difference every day; becoming more successful by building strong relationships; and creating value for others without spending a penny;
AND how to reinvent yourself.
Scott
Super postive book. A must read. It is quick and gets you through the boring days of work. Two thumbs up how it talks about everyday chores that become positive ways of helping yourself and others. I got a christen vibe on this. Most impressed with the advice of not to overdo the positive too.
Carl Sheppard
A great short read! The simplicity of the ideas in the book could create great results in your circle. Some night say this is doing someone else's job, but if you trying to be a "Fred" for that reason then you missed the whole concept of this book. Two quotes that stuck out at me the most are:

"What makes any act extraordinary is doing it with heart. What makes any life extraordinary is living it with love! That's the secret of the Fred Factor"

"Only when leaders & followers share the same va
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Jenn Moore
Apr 03, 2008 Jenn Moore marked it as to-read
Do you have a copy I can borrow?
Paul Bard
Deceptively simple book on value creation in business contexts.

The only downside of the book for me was the way it was organized: the four basic lessons are repeated three times, first in summary, then in separate chapters, then in applications for managers/leaders. I would have preferred the four lessons to be gathered together into four big chapters for convenient comprehension.

On the pro side, the chapter on "value alchemy" is absolutely superb! And the rest of the book is inspiring and insig
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Valerie
About the only thing I liked about this book was that it was a quick read. But the content was nonsensical and contradictory.

The goal is to become a "Fred"- a person who loves their work and sees value in it- so much value they go above and beyond the call of duty, no matter how menial their may be perceived by society. The author then says that we are all Freds, we just don't show it. However in the section about how to get a team full of Freds, there are only 3 suggestions: Find a Fred within
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Jared
Sep 09, 2011 Jared rated it 2 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2011
A short, easy read, I was impressed by the story of Fred the postman going above and beyond his job duties to take care of his customers, not because anyone was making him, but because he had a genuine love for what he did and those he served. This book outlines principles everyone to do to increase their own personal satisfaction and "Fred Factor" in their lives. The subtitle, "How passion in your wok and life can turn the ordinary into the extraordinary" really sums it up nicely as well as the ...more
Dani Butler
Aug 13, 2008 Dani Butler rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: people who like self-help/inspirational books
Recommended to Dani by: Mark Sanborn
Mr. Sanborn spoke at one of my company's meetings. We all received 'You Don't Need to Have a Title to be a Leader' (One of Sanborn's other books). He did mention this book in his speech and I thought the story of Fred the mailman was interesting/inspiring. Sanborn has quick and easy reading style and give some wonderful examples of the Fred Factor or amazing customer service and the importance to apply this to everyday life in the work place and outside of it. But there's the thing I dislike abo ...more
Julie
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kim Briffa
Really enjoyed this book. A client was talking about it this evening and I downloaded it tonight.
Funny how I was scrolling through the reviews and had to wonder if some of the negative response s from people were people who actually read the book?
You gain in life when you give in life. Not for money or compensation but just the human side of giving.
if ever you are in the position to help someone the feeling you receive is wonderful.
I was behind a women who didn't have enough money to pay for her
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Emily
Well, The Fred Factor was alright. Nothing special, revolutionary, or groundbreaking. Sanborn offers solid advice about listening to others and caring about them, and doing the little things to go the extra mile not just for customers but for loved ones and strangers alike.

However, Sanborn comes across as extremely egocentric in this little book, praising himself for buying a cab driver coffee once, and yammering at length about how extensively he travels on his public speaking circuit. Who care
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Cara
Picked this up because a prospective client cited it as an example of really good design, supporting readability--he wanted the same features in his book. I don't really see anything unusual in the design, though. It's pretty standard.

Meanwhile, since the book was sitting around on my table, I started flipping through it. I was surprised at my violent reaction to it. I really hate this book.

It's not that I'm not committed to excellence and going the extra mile for my clients. I do that all the
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Gina
I was asked to read the FF for work; it was part of a strategy to integrate professional development into our staff meetings. I understand why it was chosen: the book is short, positive, and has bulleted points. If you’re going to ask your staff to read something in their off-time, it’s a good idea to keep the required reading to a minimum.

Overall, I think most of the ideas in this book are good. How can I disagree with a man asking me to consider the needs of others, bring an upbeat attitude an
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Megan
Jul 28, 2007 Megan rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone interested in making regular days a bit happier
The Fred Factor is a great, light read for those wanting to bring more meaning to their lives – business & personal. The book uses the premise that if mailman Fred can turn the mundane service of delivering mail into a relationship that shows how this postman actually cares for others & loves his job, why can’t we all do this? As an individual, your focus (according to the author) should be on:
• Being relationship driven, not customer driven
• Creating greater value for mankind, not reapi
...more
Stuart Kimball
'The Fred Factor' begins with the story of Fred-a postman living and working in Denver, Colorado. Fred turns the quite ordinary job experience into an extraordinary daily adventure for himself and all those customers of his lucky enough to interact with him.
Fred reminds each of us that, we too, have the wonderful daily opportunities to find deep personal satisfaction through our own work by simply providing not just our clients, but almost anyone we encounter with exceptional service, a genuine
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Nicole
I won't say that this book convinced me to completely change the way I lead, interact with people, and treat people all the time. However, I will say that it will make me think a bit more and try to focus on customer services. I do love what I do, so I should be able to help anyone and use a bit of love. Make my ordinary extraordinary in some way.

Overall a good book. A book that all leaders should read. Makes you think a bit.
Billy Grogan
This is one of most simplistic yet powerful books I have ever read about customer service. The author uses the acts of a not so ordinary postman to deliver some universal truths we can all benefit from. I bought ever member of my organization a copy and my supervisory staff and I read and discussed it at our staff meetings.
Mr. George
Far too simplistic of a model (or in some ways too complicated...cause it seems simple, then there are all of these acronyms or phrases to memorize) to utilize directly into my field: public librarianship. That being said, there are many attributes about the Fred Factor that truly chime true with library work such as loving what you do and showing it and going the extra mile (to a degree).
Greg
The Fred Factor has some good motivational content in it, but I found it overly repetitive and strangely organized. My main take away includes: create extra value by doing more than is necessary and exceeding expectations, solve a problem you didn't create, serve others for the sake of service, and be just a really good human being.

This is a quick read, and I think the message has the ability to really impact people - if acted upon. I hope I can be a little better, and do a little more to incor
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Mark Sanborn is an international known author, motivational speaker, and the president of Sanborn & Associates, Inc., an idea studio for leadership development. He gives nearly one hundred presentations each year on leadership, team building, customer service, and mastering change. Mark and his family live near Denver, Colorado.
More about Mark Sanborn...
You Don't Need a Title to Be a Leader: How Anyone, Anywhere, Can Make a Positive Difference The Fred Factor The Encore Effect: How to Achieve Remarkable Performance in Anything You Do Fred 2.0: New Ideas on How to Keep Delivering Extraordinary Results Up, Down, or Sideways: How to Succeed When Times Are Good, Bad, or in Between

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